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Prescription Drug Costs


Martin Shkreli has been in the medical news lately for something many consider sinister. He is the man who cornered the market on an antimicrobial drug used to treat infections in people with AIDS and malaria. His cornering of the market raised the price of the drug from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill.

However, in the United States, this kind of price gouging, while amoral and self serving, is not illegal. In other civilized countries like the home country of Sergio Cortes, Brazil, drug pricing is monitored and regulated, at least in part, by the government. In the U.S., it is not.

However, we should not worry too much about Mr. Shkreli. The U.S. government is looking into his status as a possible securities fraud violator and a Ponzi scheme player. He will eventually be have to pay for his greed in due time and hopefully serve prison time as well as pay hefty fines.

The price of drugs in America is a growing concern however. Independent pharmaceutical companies produce drugs and charge basically whatever they want for them and people pay. Part of it is indeed to pay for costs leading to research and development of future drugs, but what price is too high?

In countries with socialized medicine, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, drugs are cheaper, but they do little research and development for new and more effective drugs of all types.

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